I have tried to give up before but failed. How do I ensure that it won’t happen again? - A Guide to Stop Smoking

That’s a difficult one to answer. Only you know your desire and motivation to give up smoking.

You can try a range of smoking cessation treatments, as well as enlisting help and support from your family but at the end of the day it comes down to you.

What does work for many people is a ‘stop smoking’ plan. If you have tried to give up before by going ‘cold turkey’: in other words, on your own and without any help then try this instead. Have a plan where you set a date to quit smoking and note down aspects of your smoking such as what triggers you to smoke, where you are likely to smoke and so on. And note down how you will deal with these.

This means adopting a disciplined approach but it is effective.

If you tried to give up smoking on your own then ask your family and friends for help and support. If you have a bad day or the cravings are so bad that you are about to reach for a cigarette then having someone you can talk to can stop you from giving in.

Help is also available via the NHS. They have produced a free ‘Quit Kit’ (www.smokefree.nhs.uk) which is designed to help people stop smoking. Other similar approaches include stop smoking clinics and a home based programme.

You may also need to look at your daily routine. Smoking becomes a habit and one that forms part of our day to day business so replace this with something far healthier such as going for a walk or taking up a new activity. What you are aiming for is to change your lifestyle so that you are not tempted to smoke.

For example, if you previously enjoyed going to a bar with friends who smoke then replace this with something else.

You may be surprised to know that most people who have stopped smoking had several failed attempts beforehand so you are not alone in this.

The worst time is the first couple of days as the cravings are most intense at this time. However they do ease after this period and gradually subside over the next two to three weeks. If you can hold out against the cravings during this time then you stand a good chance of beating it altogether.

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